Twelve Angry Men
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Twelve Angry Men

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4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  9,645 ratings  ·  359 reviews
Over the course of a steamy and tense afternoon, twelve jurors deliberate the fate of a 19 year-old boy alleged to have murdered his own father. A seemingly open and shut case turns complicated, igniting passions and hidden prejudices.
Audio CD, Abridged, 86 pages
Published August 1st 2006 by LA Theatre Works (first published 1954)
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Flannery
You would think they would've forced us to watch Twelve Angry Men in law school, but they didn't. After reading the play and watching the movie a few weeks ago, I feel like every American should have to read Twelve Angry Men. The play centers on a jury deliberation. During several heated hours (literally and figuratively), twelve men discuss whether the verdict they come to will exonerate a young man for the murder of his father, or condemn him to a death sentence that the judge explained he had...more
Jonathan
The following will be a twelve thousand word dissertation on the seventy page long play by Reginald Rose. Or maybe not. Maybe I'll simply stick to reviewing.

Recently I've been reading several plays and short stories. In part because I'm required to (like this one) and in part because I enjoy the difference in media. So I shall promptly go over what makes Twelve Angry Men different.

The play itself covers the case of an apparently guilty boy claimed to have stabbed his father. The prosecution app...more
Becky
I love this. It's so brilliant in so many ways.

I remember reading this in school and thinking how unfair it was of the main "antagonist" juror, #3, to disregard all points regarding anything that might lead to a not-guilty verdict simply because of his own personal prejudices and opinions.

It's interesting to me now how that tells me as much about myself as it does about the characters. Back then, I thought that Juror 3 was a mean man, almost evil, and that he just wanted the defendant to die t...more
Amanda
I was very excited about reading "Twelve Angry Men." I've seen the film, so when I saw that the play was a choice for class reading, I couldn't wait to read it.

My immediate response to the text was that I couldn't put it down. I was compelled by the 8th Juror's arguments and by figuring out each individual's demeanor and attitude, I loved discovering more and more about each character as I read about their interaction with other characters. As I continue reading, I'm not only motivated by the ul...more
Troy Blackford
WOW! What a play! This was amazing stuff. Though you can sense it is getting up there in years, it doesn't seem nearly as dated as many of the things of its era. I had heard of this my whole life but never really known much about it. It didn't take long to realize that I was dealing with a major work of incredible power. Heavily recommended.
Justin
I read Twelve Angry Men at some point during my middle or high school years, but I don’t remember exactly when. I also recall watching the original motion picture, and more recently, I’ve seen the updated movie. I was always really intrigued by the premise: a man is on trial for murder, all the evidence confirms his guilt, one lone juror stands up for him and converts everyone else to a plea of not guilty – it’s very “Hollywood.” It’s been a while though, since I’ve read the actual play.

When I f...more
Andrew G.
This play only takes place in a jury room, and the setup to the plot line is never revealed all at once. An interesting point of this book is that there are no names, only the numbers of the jurors and the witnesses of the case as the 'old man', or 'woman'. These twelve jurors are appointed to deliberate on the trial of a teenage boy who allegedly stabbed his father, and it looks like a open-and-shut case in the beginning, but the evidence that is revealed during the story makes it much more di...more
Ryan
Why should Reginald Rose's Twelve Angry Men work? If anything, it starts with what I would have thought a tired premise: jurors -- all men, 12 of them, and fairly angry -- in deliberation. So what?

Well, for one thing, "a man's life is at stake."

To make matters worse, I'll admit that I am not usually a fan of reading plays. In fact, I was sure that this one, with its twelve nameless characters, would be a real struggle to get through. Who can tie a character's character to a name like "Juror #8?"...more
Camille
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lilyan
Interesting.

I read this play as I'm considering taking part in the production and I really enjoyed it.

In the 12 angry men, you see all the different types of people. You have juror 8, who stood against all the others, did not give in to peer pressure and stood his ground. On the other hand of the spectrum, we have juror 3, a bitter, stubborn and biased man.

The play has a very strong message. It's so easy to condemn and judge someone from the safety of our comfortable jury rooms/homes/offices....more
Melissa
Twelve men are sequestered in a stuffy room and tasked with determining the fate of a boy who was accused of murdering his father. The jurors are indentified only by their numbers (juror two, juror four), which you would think would be confusing, but it isn’t. They take a vote and realize that 11 of the 12 believe the defendant is guilty. They need a unanimous vote for a conviction and in the instant they know this won’t be as easy as they’d hoped.

It’s amazing that Rose was able to pack such a...more
Jill Nelson
Of course as a being concerned with social justice issues this text speaks to me. As U.S. citizens I believe we take our freedom and rights for granted most of the time. Something like jury duty sounds mundane and an inconvenience, not an honor or a privilege. Taking time from our jobs, families and hobbies to participate in this civic duty is a drag. I think this book/play/movie does an incredible job of changing our perspective. What power we have in our hands to change another being's life. T...more
~Emily~
Twelve Angry Men was actually very interesting. It was a quick and entertaining read. I didn't find it difficult to tell the characters apart and I loved seeing how the case unraveled. I was expecting to be bored, but the play was very engaging.
Daniel
It's been two decades since I read this in high school--and, coincidentally, I am reading it now as part of a seminar I'm giving as a high school teacher. Once again, I got pulled into the lengthy discussion that determines whether a young boy faces execution.

The teleplay format made it tough for me to picture the various jurors (though I will always picture the 8th juror as Henry Fonda, for obvious reasons). In fact, I started making associations between each juror's number and his personality....more
Emily
An intriguing story, the play has an interesting premise of 12 jurors deliberating over taking a young boy's life. The group of men being a microcosm of society, the way each member sees this case is what makes it such a classic tale.
The characters, named without names, only a number, each have their own ways about them, each being a different type of member of today's world. It's easy to come to like the nonconformist as soon as the play starts, and to hate the bigots.
It was a quick, enjoyabl...more
Brian
Pre-reading:
The blood-red background on the cover, the switchblade, and “anger” in the title said to me that this play contains murder, suspense, treachery — it conjured a smoky detective’s office in a film noir. Twelve men suggested that the subject of the play would be a jury. Other than what I intuited from the cover, then read from the description on the back, I knew nothing about this play (I’m a little embarrassed to admit that because I have the sense I should be familiar with it). I pic...more
Jay
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Grace Zhen
This is a truely fantastic play about the gathering of a jury dicussing about a first degree murder verdict with a teenage boy's life at stake. There are 12 jurors and they are entitled by their own rights to choose the appropriate verdict without a reasonable doubt , Gulity or Not Gulity. For the first ballot, the votes for Gulity beat not Gulity by a land slide, 11 to 1. Despite all the bias evidence from the court about the murder, the 8th is still not convinced that the kid killed his father...more
Karin


It’s a hot humid day when twelve jurors are led to a room to decide the fate of a sixteen year old accused of murder. The prosecution has been relentless, the court appointed defense apathetic, and eleven of the jurors are convinced that the boy is guilty. However, Juror number 8 isn’t sure. The judge has warned them that they should only pass a guilty verdict if they are convinced of this boy’s guilt; if there is reasonable doubt they are to say he’s innocent. If they don’t have a unanimous vo...more
Angelica Castillo
A man's life has been taken and another is at stake. It is up to the 12 jurors to decide whether a nineteen year old boy is guilty of killing his own father or not.

Each of the 12 jurors represent people we may have encountered in our lives. For example, Juror No. 2 is a person who cannot make decisions for himself and believes that the most recent opinion given by another person is true. Juror No. 5 knows what is right and wrong but never speaks his mind because he is afraid of what the seniors...more
Ryan
This short 1950s drama is now pretty dated in its cultural references, but still very, very relevant in its ideas. Twelve jurors sit down to deliberate their verdict in a murder trial for which the evidence seems unambiguous. A beaten-down teenager from a bad neighborhood has allegedly slain his own father, with multiple witnesses and no good alibi. Eleven jurors are ready to send him to the electric chair and get on with their day.

But, one juror has a few questions. He pokes at the arguments ma...more
Joaquin Garza
Nota mental # 1: Cuando veas anunciada una obra de teatro con doce actores muy conocidos y de entre ellos por lo menos seis están considerados ‘primeros actores’, tienes que hacer un mínimo esfuerzo por ir a verla.

Si esta obra se llama ‘Doce hombres en pugna’, siempre puedes por recurrir a una bonita adaptación en audiolibro, como en mi caso. Calidad de la representación aparte (muy buena, con Dan Castellaneta [AKA Homero Simpson en inglés] y Héctor Elizondo), la obra es una de aquellas piezas...more
Tara
This is one of those plays I've read over and over again throughout the years and I have seen the movie multiple times as well. From the very first time I opened this classic I was intrigued, not only by it's easy to manage dialogue (which is appealing to a youngster, seeing as I read this for the first time in sixth grade), but by the moral issues it brings up. When do you start to believe something as true? What is the truth to you? What did you really see?
Lana C. Marilyn
Read this when I was in eight grade, and I've also seen both editions of the movie. It's such a classic, and I love how the novel has little to do with really deciding if the kid is guilty or not. It's more about just getting people to shift their ideas of the way things are. A novel of persuasion. I really loved that dynamic, that it's essentially just a group of people sitting down and talking but ultimately changing as a result of that discourse. Brilliant.
Adira
I loved this audiobook. It became an instant favorite upon my first time listening to it due to the voice actors who brought so much passion to the play. The storyline was emotional because of prejudices held by certain characters. Therefore, readers should be ready for the range of emotions that may come from reading this play. I highly recommend it and the play is super short (75 pages or 1 hour 25 minutes in audiobook) so it can be read in one sitting.
Lauren Fidler
reading this play should be mandatory in high school. it's a compelling piece about compassion, conformity, conviction, and crime. in terms of reinforcing humanity, the character of #8 who, while not convinced entirely of the defendant's innocence, honestly believes in the singular worth of a man's life. i'm not entirely sure i believe the validity of the challenges to the evidence...but...well, that's not really what the plays about.

Sarah
This play is a pretty quick-moving play that really can be read in one sitting. I got it done within an hour myself. That being said, there is so much material, character, and substance in this play that makes it a remarkable play and one of the best that I have read in a long time. The twelve jurors are all different in their own ways, which gives a diversity of characters ranging from moral to bigoted. The plot content itself is highly intriguing simply because of the entire premise of a boy's...more
Guadalupe Sanabria
Very impressive story about how one person can change the opinion of not only one person but 11 people. The most important message that I took away from this book was to stay away from having a bias opinion when being selected for just duty.
Jane Mcconnell
A well written play which had the ability to draw one completely into the deliberating room of twelve juror. Most of whom go to great pains to deliberate their own point of view. Striking at the chord of human nature - this play is a good social experiment. Revealing the tendency of people to act on the basis of their own core characteristics and instincts. Thought provoking this play will raise many questions about the way in which you may personally interact with others. Conflict handling and...more
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Comparisons 2 13 Dec 29, 2012 12:40AM  
its a play 2 32 Apr 04, 2008 09:36AM  
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  • The Elephant Man
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  • Doubt
  • In the Next Room, or the vibrator play
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  • Fiddler on the Roof
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Reginald Rose (December 10, 1920 – April 19, 2002) was an American film and television writer most widely known for his work in the early years of television drama. Rose's work is marked by its treatment of controversial social and political issues. His realistic approach helped create the slice of life school of television drama, which was particularly influential in the anthology programs of the...more
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“It takes a great deal of courage to stand alone even if you believe in something very strongly.” 19 likes
“It's very hard to keep personal prejudice out of a thing like this. And no matter where you run into it, prejudice obscures the truth.” 7 likes
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